Advertisement

Scott Thompson: Will another $2 billion help the kids safely get back to school?

Many students in Ottawa will now return to the classroom on Sept. 8 following a late-night vote from trustees of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.
Many students in Ottawa will now return to the classroom on Sept. 8 following a late-night vote from trustees of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. Don Mitchell / Global News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised another $2 billion to provinces across the country to help the kids safely get back to school.

For weeks, teachers unions and boards have complained about having to use their own millions in taxpayer reserves to help provide a safe return to school while municipalities, the province and the country deal with monumental deficits brought on by a halted economy during a global COVID-19 pandemic.

This despite every province, of every political stripe across the country, using basically the same protocol for sending the kids back to school.

Ontario’s share is $381 million and will be spread over many initiatives to keep kids safe.

Read more: Coronavirus: Ontario outlines where additional federal funding will go for back-to-school plans

That includes $79 million for student transportation including bus drivers, cleaning and fewer kids on the bus.

Story continues below advertisement

Mental health and special education will receive another $12 million for extra staff.

Remote learning will receive an extra $36 million. Public health will receive another 12.5 million to hire more nursing staff.

The last $50 million will be set aside for future planning in case of a second wave hitting schools.

Already the questions are being asked why the Ontario government doesn’t use all of the money to hire extra teachers as the union has demanded.

The answer is simple, there are plenty challenges that surround sending kids back to school while living in a global pandemic, and teacher union demands are just one.

Everyone should be doing their nimble best during this ever-changing crisis.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML Hamilton.​​​​